It started with some pickle juice; an attempt to ease a headache that was going on 30 hours… I was exhausted, I hadn’t been able to remember things for hours and was even forgetting the conversation I was having mid sentence before finally excusing myself for bed by 7:30pm.

Once I drank a sip though, I was soon eating a pickle, and then some blackberries… Before I knew it I didn’t have a headache, but I was definitely not fasting anymore either. My evening binging monster got me again the moment my willpower had run out.

Offering Myself Forgiveness and Understanding

I have felt a lot of things today about what happened last night. A part of me wanted to give up this morning, feeling amazing until the realization of why I didn’t have a headache anymore sank in, truly for the first time.

I felt like a complete failure. I felt sad and frustrated with myself. I was angry too – I had been working so hard, just to blow it?!

I let the discomfort come and go, deciding to resume my fast, noting that a mistake is only a failure if you let it stop you. So, I forgave myself and then started looking for clues to my behavior, trying to understand what happened and why so that I can be more prepared to handle the same situation in the future.

Image: Facebook

Finding Unlikely Allies Amidst the Disappointment

I began to think over the incident with curiosity instead of judgement and was surprised by what I found. Despite “disobeying,” my body and compulsion really tried to keep to my commitment in their own subtle way. Somehow, I managed to stay under 500 calories during my binge, which, given that it was all I ate yesterday, still left me in a caloric deficit sufficiently low enough to still encourage the cellular and metabolic benefits of “fasting.”

How? Why? I’ve been pondering this all day. I believe I was asking too much, too fast, and this was my body and mind’s way of letting me know that.

Yet, given the lack of conscious control I displayed last night, I can’t help but believe that they don’t want to stop the fast either. Somehow, by finding that moderation between my extreme ideals and completely giving up subconsciously last night, I now feel more encouraged to continue than ever!

Image: Facebook

Redefining Success… Again

I can see now just how much my ego wanted to be calling the shots for my fast. It created an almost impossible regimen, probably to trap me in failure and give me a reason to return to feeling sorry for myself. Well, not this time.

I’m adjusting my regimen accordingly, allowing for some watered down bone broth when I feel overwhelmed by detox symptoms. I may find other supplementation as well, but I am still beginning every day fasting and will not be exceeding the 500 calorie mark for the remainder of my water fast (the juices I will start consuming on Tuesday will bring me out of this extreme fasted state, and I will continue supplementing as needed but without calorie restrictions).

The point of this process isn’t to prove myself perfect at fasting, it’s to learn and discover things about myself. Therefore, last night’s “mistake” has been just as essential to this experience as any other one will be.

Image: Wake Up World

Extending My New Conceptions of Moderation

This experience actually helped me to release attachments of my ego in another respect as well. I have been trying to abstain from making purchases of “things” since October 2019 but have found myself breaking that commitment to buy presents for international friends at Christmas time and now considering purchases as I will be exploring alternative housing options in the second half of 2020.

I will be taking my cats and living as a nomad from my van for at least 3 months, traveling through many western states and even British Columbia – so I ordered pet IDs and Passports for both my cats. I also bought a bike and am looking at a trailer/stroller combo for my cats so that they can accompany me when I leave the van too. Despite these things becoming necessary as upcoming changes in my life have become apparent, I have felt incredibly guilty too (oh ego, can’t you just leave me be! I’M TRYING).

This recent experience has helped me to cement a growing suspicion I’ve had lately: it’s not about buying nothing, it’s about buying the right things. That’s why I bought a bike: I love riding but have never owned my own bike as an adult, I also believe it is one of the most efficient modes of personal transportation, and essentially it’s a purchase that will bring me enjoyment, improve my quality of life and expand my sustainable independence.

Image: Facebook

Learning, Adapting and Growing in Love

The peice of my personal New Year’s Divination in which I was told what would help me achieve my goals this year is making more and more sense: “balance and moderation.” I have always been an extremist, and it’s always fed my ego’s proclivity to self-sabotage. Well, not any more.

Sure, I’m me – I will probably never stop trying to challenge myself – but, I’m starting to realize that doesn’t always have to include extremes. I can still learn from this fast, even with a more practical regimen. I can still be a mindful consumer and make smart purchases.

What’s important is that my goals are actually benefiting me. Adhering strictly to extreme ideals might be appropriate for a professional athlete who sacrifices their body for their sport, but I’m seeking an optimal and masterful lifestyle for myself. Which I’m beginning to find also means I am seeking a more balanced and moderate lifestyle.

Image: www.awakening-intuition.com

Accepting My Own Grace and Appreciation

I just finished sipping a cup of warm broth. I have a slight detox headache but have managed to subdue the light-headedness I had as a result of trying to do too much today. I’m feeling silly about it, but appreciative that I am committed to providing myself with what I need – even if my ego has to step aside.

I’m sure I will find new ways to make mistakes on this fasting journey, but I am determined to offer myself grace again and again in order to continue and overcome. After all, there really is no ultimate that I am trying to achieve. Optimization and mastery are never ending – they are a way of succeeding as well as a way of failing.

In these ways, I’m finally learning to trust myself at 31 years old. Yes, I have traumas to heal, bad habits to overcome and good ones to create, but I’m also an incredible soul, mind and body that have chosen to align for the betterment of this world. I can’t do everything, but I can do the work of healing and use it to encourage others by sharing what I learn. And you know what? I think I’m happy to be just that, that I am.

Image: Facebook

Blessed be darlings! May you all offer yourselves the grace to find balance in your own lives as well.

Showing up for the Yin yoga class my sister teaches at our local wellness center last night, I was cheerfully greeted by one of my Kundalini teachers at the front desk. “Oh Mayry! I’m so glad you’re here, it’s so good to see you!” Her smile was so big her eyes scrunched together to make room.

Now, this isn’t uncommon for the vibes at Taspens, but last night was also special because I had just officially registered for the Kundalini teacher training course they will be offering in the fall. I beamed right back at her, filled with joy and excitement for being a part of this incredible local tribe.

I was a bit early for the Yin class and began some light conversation. The owner of Taspens and a woman I consider a personal guru of mine joined in as well. She also teaches Kundalini and was excited to let me know a few of my next steps.

“I’ll schedule a call with the teacher for you, to discuss a few things,” she said, and then went on to mention the mandatory Saturday Sadhana practices during the course and signing the code of conduct at the end to get our certification. I nodded along in agreement, smiling.

Suddenly, my attention shifted though, “the code is essentially a commitment to the yogic lifestyle. So, trying for a vegetarian diet, abstaining from drugs…” Right there, “uh oh,” I thought as I shifted uneasily on my feet.

Honoring My Truth

I have been leaning vegetarian for the last dozen years but, no drugs? Given that I just found my hag stone after my plant medicine retreat in June and, according to my own personal beliefs, have thus been officially called to the Shamanic path, I worried this might actually be a problem.

“So…” I started, interrupting the flow of chatter between the teachers, “if I were unable to sign the code because I’ve been called to the Shamanic path, would I still be able to take the course?” I asked, nervously.

Shamanism is a part of my path for sure, but I’ve also been called to Kundalini. Not being able to reconcile the too seemed completely wrong – Pachamama had come to me through Ayahuasca AND through Kundalini, how could they be opposed?

“Yes,” both teachers exclaimed, looking at me and then each other, then back at me. They started, “and it’s just about trying your best, we understand some people have to eat meat for medical reasons… Maybe just try it for 40 days, you might be surprised…”

I cut in again, “I have no problem with the diet, it’s just that… I am called to the utilization of ‘drugs’ on a ceremonial basis for medicinal and religious purposes.” They seemed to finally understand what I meant now, their eyes widening to fully ingest what I was saying. “Oh, no, well – he just wants to get everything out in the open up front so there are no suprises when it’s time to sign the code… But, you will talk to him so you can mention that. If at the end you don’t sign, that will always be your choice to make.” My guru finished, half-smiling.

The big smile returned to my face and both teachers responded with large smiles blooming across theirs as well. “Okay awesome,” I sighed, relieved.

Embracing the Unknown

Now, some may wonder, “what’s the point of taking Kundalini teacher training if you know you won’t be able to get certified?!” And honestly, I don’t blame them.

In this world of achievement laden “value,” it would seem I am setting out to rob myself. After all, the certification is the reason for undergoing any professional training, is it not? Well, I suppose it’s not for me.

Some might say I should just lie, or withhold the truth, sign the code anyway. Others might tell me I need to really consider the code and whether I truly feel called to both of these seemingly “contradictory” paths, or even something to the tune of “perhaps your plant medicine experiences are behind you and this is the next step in your development?” To be sure, I’ve thought all these things for myself already too.

But, I cannot lie. Fundamentally, my commitment to authenticity and truth is what has aligned me with my path, and subsequently both of these paths too. And undoubtedly, I feel beyond called to both of them, I am already connected and intertwined with them spiritually. Finally, given the parts that plant medicine has played in my past, I cannot in good consciousness banish all plant medicines from my life in the future – regardless of how well meaning my intention is in doing so.

No, the mental gymnastics to be done here are not to rectify me to the norm – it’s the opposite. I will be a Kundalini Shaman and I will learn to walk this line with grace and appreciation.

Letting Mayryanna Bloom

Somehow it all seems better suited anyway… I’m not just a guru, I’m a Rockstar Guru. I’m not just a yogi, I’m a Rebel Yogi. I’m not just a Shaman, I’m an Modern Eclectic Pagan Medicine Woman who researches and utilizes a variety of ancient spiritual healing modalities to live my authentically powerful life to the fullest – all without shame, malice or discontentment.

I don’t need a certificate. I will proudly slap “Unofficial” to the front of my teacher title and gratefully explain my why to everyone who cares.

This “inconvenient truth” will not detract from me at all, no. This will only empower me more. By allowing myself unpopular distinctions, I will emerge unparalleled.

By allowing myself unpopular distinctions, I will emerge unparalleled.

So, after some careful reflections and considerations, I’m even more excited to study Kundalini now! Certification shmertification – nothing compares to a soul that fully embraces its fate, inconveniences and all (shout out to Nietzsche for his concept of Amor Fati). I am simply grateful for the opportunity to learn, to grow and to further become this gloriously inglorious woman: Mayryanna.

It’s rare, actually, it’s even quite difficult to escape expectations. Every day, as soon as we wake up, we hit the ground running with expectations. Even before consciousness, there is the expectation that one will wake up by a certain time in order to do certain things by other certain times…..

I’m sick of it.

It feels completely unnatural to me to have my entire life planned out. I’m a glutton for surprises, the unplanned and the moments that could never be planned. I don’t want to have expectations of every second of my life because then I miss out on what the moments have to offer for themselves.

It feels completely unnatural to me to have my entire life planned out.

The Sanctity of Nothingness

Perhaps some will say that I’m a fool, that nothing would be accomplished without making plans and setting expectations – but is that true? The wind doesn’t make plans to blow the weather through the plains, the mountains don’t have expectations of breaking apart the storm, and the people can’t even have expectations that it will rain wherever they happen to be (though we certainly try our best to).

A cougar may hunt, and even have great techniques that land its pray almost 100% of the time, but it doesn’t have the expectation that it will make a kill “at 5pm, every third Thursday.” It doesn’t require that it’s to groomed itself before it goes hunting. It doesn’t “have to” bring back a huge elk for a dinner party it doesn’t really want to have but feels obligated to host anyway…

We’ve wrapped ourselves up so tight in meaning we can’t even make sense of it any more.

No, we humans are the fools. We’ve wrapped ourselves up so tight in meaning we can’t even make sense of it any more. We are so desperate for validation and justification of our existence that we sacrifice authentic living for conditioned expectations.

Here’s my point: the cougar goes on living it’s great cougar life without schedules, tasks and expectations – what would a human life look like if it did the same? Arguably, some expectations and plans are beneficial, e.i. brushing your teeth, wearing clothes and having a fulfilling life – but are they really the means to getting these things?

Perhaps the good life is recognizing that you have a good life.

Perhaps the key to a good life isn’t painstakingly designing every detail and moment to match up with external and internal standards you have to struggle and suffer to achieve… Perhaps the good life is recognizing that you have a good life.

Reevaluating Motivation

If I only brush my teeth out of obligation to the expectations of my society or conditioning, I’m missing out. However, if I brush my teeth because I’m actively aware of my life, my body, how good it all is, my gratitude for my teeth and my ability to keep them healthy, the task becomes a celebration. It’s in this way that expectations steal from us: they make the completion or acquisition of an experience or trait more important that the experience or trait itself.

Imagine for a moment a different world, one where people operate from genuine need or desire rather than expectation. Imagine if the normal was to wake up when you feel rested rather than when you “have to” in order to be “on time.” Imagine exploring your days rather than planning them. Imagine allowing for life’s spontaneous joy and peace to bless you when you least expect it… Seems so wonderful, and so alien.

Well, that’s what I’m doing today.

Reinventing my Success

I’ve been laying in bed for hours. I woke up on my own at about 7, but I’ve been reading and writing since then without finding reason to move. My kitties are cuddling me. My lover is trying to make plans to see me today… and I am just doing nothing.

Two fluffy kitties, one comfy bed and all the time in the world…

I told him he could come by as long as he didn’t have any expectations, explaining my current desire for void, and he told me to let him know when I feel like making plans.

Right now, I have some loose ideas about how the day might go. I have desire to clean my space, and it needs it too. I also feel some curiosity and creativity bubbling up, so perhaps some study and work will get done, but I can’t say for sure what or when. I was inspired to write this blog and that’s as far as I’ve gotten. No plans.

I’m hungry, but not for my usual, easy-to-grab-and-go breakfast smoothie… No, today I’ll make myself some pancakes, for brunch now I guess… And I’ll eat them slow.

I’m also feeling like some self-care… It’s been a while since I’ve had a ritual bath. Maybe I’ll make a custom face mask and deep condition my hair too. I guess I’ll see!

Lover wants to go for a hike and forage mushrooms, which does sound fun. So perhaps once I’ve eaten, straightened up my space, and pampered myself a bit I’ll join him… He also said he would just bring me dinner later if I like though, so we’ll see how things go…

Regardless of what I do today, I’m already happy. In this way, I’ve succeeded even before I’ve begun.

Regardless of what I do today, I’m already happy. In this way, I’ve succeeded even before I’ve begun.

Offering Renewed Perspective

The reality is, I won’t get everything done today. The reality is, I never do. With or without plans, LIFE IS FULL! That’s why there is always more – it’s not because we don’t do enough, it’s because we could never do it all, even in a million lifetimes.

Still, even without my plans, I will accomplish stuff today. Accomplishments are a part of life, we simply can’t avoid doing things entirely. We can however, make the act of doing things something we needlessly stress over.

So, I’m done. I’m hereby relinquishing my expectations. I’m letting go of all the “shoulds,” “coulds” and “woulds” to embrace what is, regardless of what that means I am. At least in accepting myself and my reality I can make decisions that are informed by truth, even if it’s just the basic truths of desire and need.

No more sacrificing authenticity for expectations.

No more sacrificing authenticity for expectations. No more artfully designing the distance between myself and “good enough.” I declair myself FREE! Free to be me, free to have bad days and to have really surprisingly good ones too. Free to exist grateful for who I am rather than punished for who I “could be.”

Here’s to wishing the same for all of you. Blessed be!

My left thigh is tingling and warm

from soft kitten purrs, as loud as they are gentle

He refused to “say cheese” though

The room is cold, here in the basement

as well as quiet, dark and spacious

I can remember when this entire space

was filled floor to ceiling with miscellaneous

I feel connected to it in remarkable ways

And that’s just the basement –

My current home is remarkable

Home

I feel home

Everything feels like home right now

What a difference a few years makes…

I used to be in a bad marriage

I used to be a chronic enabler

I used to recklessly abhor myself

Just years ago…

Don’t get me wrong, and if you read my blog you know

Things aren’t perfect…

They truly are better than perfect

This is why

My unalome/wanderlust mashup tattoo

That is to say, what it represents

They joy of the journey

Remembering to appreciate, even the bad

Even when life is chaos and you can’t breathe

If anything, that got me here

At least from that self-deprecating behavior of my past

But it does go deeper

To a time before I new how to be happy

And only grace got me through that

Om, beloved Divine, quest of my heart

Thank you, thank you, thank you my sweet, sweet loves – my beloveds – my sweet love, my beloved, my endlessly cherished One

In all the ways my devotion has blossomed

I have been endlessly blessed

And if I had not strayed into the depths of hopelessness

Would I have ever known the true heights of bliss

The path to glory is fraught with dangers and distractions; sureties are luxuries that often must be bought at the expense of truth. What though is worth more? The confidence and strength of hard-won experience, or the comfort of waiting for an easy way that will never come?

Heroes are forged in battles, and not only the battles that find them. Heroes set out to find the “monsters” that will otherwise destroy peace and jeopardize love, in order to fulfill their destiny or die trying – that’s what sets them apart, that’s what distinguishes their journey from all the rest – they fully reject a life that sacrifices the soul for security.

Perhaps they don’t know how they will feed or shelter themselves along the way, but they go anyway. Perhaps they don’t have the right weapons, perhaps they live far from the threat, perhaps they could find several reasons why it would make more sense for them to just hope for the best and stay at home – but they go anyway.

A hero’s journey is one that defies logic, challenges rationality and tests grace, but that’s exactly what makes them great: by stepping out of the line of “right,” they place themselves in the midst of the void: the space in which nothing exists but every possibility. It is not their own might or power that makes them heroes, but rather, it is their acceptance of fortune, their faith in divine power and their calling to more that allows this greatness to manifest.

By stepping outside of reality’s guarantees, they create the space in which glory and miracles can manifest. True greatness doesn’t fit inside comfort, it must be invoked in spaces of possibility’s uncontained magnitude.

So, do you dare?